Deena Kastor, Olympic medalist and American record holder, is one of our country’s premier distance runners. The marathon, half-marathon, 10K, cross country, and now the Masters category – you name it, she’s a champion. Let Your Mind Run is the story of how she used positive thinking to help her achieve her goals.
Deena was instantly successful when she started running in middle school (in Southern California, by the way). She had incredible natural talent. After her high school success, college competition was a challenge for her. She had never needed to do anything but go out and run in order to win. Running became a drain for her. After college, she nearly gave up running, but instead moved to Colorado to train with legendary coach Joe Vigil at high altitude. She worked hard (VERY hard), but still struggled to achiever her full potential. There was something that was still holding her back.
Working with Coach Vigil, and beginning a journey to harness positive thinking, led to increased success over time. Deena talks about the books she read, the advice she was given, and how she put those tools to use. Her mindset is a result of years of training –training to have a strong mind. She tells stories in detail about races and the specific thoughts in her head and how she turned negative thoughts into positive ones. Tackling hills, reeling in other runners, fighting off competitors, all of these things were looked at as opportunities, rather than problems. As a runner, and a fan of running, I found the details very interesting – an inside peek at the mind of an elite runner.
Distance running has such a mental component. Deena’s story definitely intrigued me. Learning how to turn your negative thoughts into positive ones, ones that challenge you and motivate you, will complement your physical training. I will never be an elite runner, but I can use these ideas in my own life and my running.
All in all, it was an enjoyable, easy read that I looked forward to picking up each day, and I’ve continued to think about what I learned.